How Foreign Students Can Work in America With Their Studies?

The US houses some of the finest and top-notch academic institutions in the world. However, studying at US universities/schools can be quite expensive. This is why many international students seek part-time employment opportunities to reduce their financial burden. Keeping this in mind, today we are sharing with you four options that allow students to work in America while studying.

On-Campus Jobs

On-Campus jobs refer to jobs available at the campus of the university. On-campus jobs can include working at the library or bookstore of the university. These jobs don’t require students to pay any money for transportation. Furthermore, these jobs make it very easy for students to balance their studies with a job. This is the key reason why many international students prefer to do an on-campus job rather than an off-campus job. But students can do part-time a job in the USA for only 20 hours each week. However, during holidays/vacations, students can work full-time in America. Moreover, students can also take up multiple on-campus jobs for covering their expenses. For more information on how to get on-campus jobs in the country feel free to contact our best education consultants for USA.

Off-Campus Jobs

Foreign students facing economic hardship can apply for off-campus jobs in the country. However, they must have done one year of study in the country. Besides this, the student must get approval from the university before taking an off-campus job in the country. Once the student gets approval from the university, he/she can take up an off-campus job in the country. But the student taking up an off-campus job can work for only 20 hours every week in the country. Off-campus jobs can include working at call centers, restaurants, bars, offices, etc.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT enables students to get work experience in their field of education via internships/employment with partnering employers. Moreover, the CPT option allows students to work full-time in the country without any limit on the number of working hours. Besides this, students can get more than one curricular practical training authorization at a time. But to qualify for CPT students must have done at least one year of study in the country. Furthermore, once the students complete the curricular practical training period of 1-2 years, they become eligible for OPT.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional practical training enables students to get temporary employment for up to 12 months in their field of education. However, to become eligible for the OPT the school of the student must endorse/submit its application to USCIS. Optional practical training is of two types namely:

  • Pre-completion OPT: This option is available for students once they complete one academic year at an American university. In pre-completion OPT students can work for only 20 hours every week during studies. However, when the college/school is not in session students can work full-time.
  • Post-completing OPT: This option is for students after their graduation. In post-completing OPT students can work full-time without any limits. To learn more about post-completing OPT feel free to contact our study in USA consultants in Chandigarh.

The maximum work period for both pre/post-completion OPT combined is around 12 months. For example, if you do 10 months of pre-completion OPT then you can only do 2 months of post-completion OPT after graduation.


Now you are aware of the different options that allow students to work in America while studying. So, if you are someone considering working in the country while studying then do utilize these options. All the above options can help you get authorization to work in the US while studying. However, each option has its pros and cons. Thus, we recommend you evaluate your options properly before selecting any one of them.

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